Job-Related Risk of Latent Tuberculosis Infection in a Homogeneous Population of Hospital Workers in a Low Incidence Area

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BackgroundFew comprehensive tuberculin surveys were carried out in a homogeneous population of health care workers (HCWs) in a low incidence area to assess the risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection by different occupational groups and units.MethodsCommunity and occupational factors and tuberculin skin test (TST) reactivity were determined in 1,755 HCWs.ResultsThe overall prevalence of tuberculin reactivity was 6%. Predicting factors for TST reactivity were age >47 years (OR = 2.88), history of household TB contact (OR = 2.41), years of work as HCW (OR = 2.57), physician (OR = 1.88), and working in microbiology (OR = 4.94), dialysis/nephrology (OR = 2.00), gynecology/obstetrics (OR = 2.01). In a multiple regression model working in microbiology [OR = 4.16 (1.27-13.6)], dialysis/nephrology [OR = 2.52 (1.36—4.65)], gynecology/obstetrics [OR = 2.46 (1.24-4.86)] and age >47 years [OR = 1.98 (1.14-3.46)] were significant predictors for infection.ConclusionsA higher risk of latent infection can be demonstrated in well-defined groups of HCWs. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:297-303, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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